Tuesday, 07 June 2022 14:51

Fostering Understanding and Tolerance Among Children

A reconciliation event organized by Kegalle District Inter Religious Committee (DIRC) was held in Kegalle with the participation of 73 Sinhala, Tamil and Muslim school children in order to build trust between the different ethnic groups. DIRCs are supported by Misereor.

Several activities were carried out to bring about reconciliation including presenting dance forms representing different ethnicities as well as explanations on the cultural aspects of the dances so that the children could understand and respect different traditions. It also showed that language was not a hindrance to enjoyment.

The next activity was to show participants how different types of food are made and their history. Konda kavum representing the Sinhala community, idli representing the Tamil community and samosas representing the Muslim community were prepared at the venue. “I have eaten all three dishes. But I did not know about them. This experience is different,” said a Muslim girl. Food also provides an insight into other cultures.

Sinhala, Tamil and Muslim children worked together to plant fruit plant trees on the school premises. The school appointed a teacher and three children to take care of each plant. After that there was a lecture on the history of reconciliation in Sri Lanka followed by group activities.

The reconciliation programme created an environment to bring about understanding between ethnic groups. The next step is to achieve the goal of a positive peace. The programme was designed to identify problems in the area and provide solutions for the underlying causes.